Country pub gets top marks for its cask ale thanks to new team

The licensee of a county pub is celebrating this week after scooping a prestigious award for the quality of the pub’s beer.

Wednesday, 22nd May 2019, 10:41 am
Giles Babb the new landlord of the Star and Garter

The Star & Garter is an 18th century pub in Downland village of East Dean, in the South Downs National Park at the heart of the Goodwood Estate.

Giles Babb, who also owns the Blue Bell Inn Emsworth, took over at the pub on March 1 after it had been closed for six months.

Giles and his team have already been awarded the Cask Marque accreditation for serving the perfect pint of cask conditioned ale.

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He said: ‘We’ve totally refitted the cellar with new equipment, and the beer is now poured from hand pumps at the bar.’ 

Giles said the people of East Dean were over the moon when the pub reopened its doors and it has once again become the hub of the local community.

He added: ‘This award is a great endorsement for us. A lot of our customers visit the pub especially for the cask ale and it is really gratifying to know that we are getting the formula just right.’ 

The independent assessor commented on the interesting range of beers, something that Giles prides himself on. 

He said: ‘We like using local suppliers where every possible, which is no different with our beer selection. Our two guest ales rotate with some fantastic local brewers in our area. Winchester’s Red Cat Brewery, Arundel Brewery, The Greyhound Brewery and a little more further afield Burning Skies regularly frequent the pumps alongside the ever popular Sharp’s Doombar.’ 

Backed by 50 of the country’s leading brewers and pub companies, Cask Marque accreditation is only awarded to licensees whose ale passes a series of rigorous independent quality audits. Since its foundation in 1998, Cask Marque has inspected more than 750,000 pints of beer and accredited 10,000 pubs. 

Cask Marque director, Paul Nunny, said: ‘Giles and his team should feel justifiably proud of this great achievement, which not only recognises the effort they put into serving the perfect pint but also acts as an independent guarantee of quality for customers. All too often, publicans don’t appreciate the care cask beers require and run the risk of losing custom by serving below par pints.’